Friday, January 26, 2007

Zoomerang – a Web-based survey tool

Whether for assessing needs, expanding product and service development, or improving quality through feedback, there are many reasons to conduct a survey. Asking input from your clients or customers is almost always a good thing. For the past five years, I have used a Web application to create, launch, and analyze survey data. My tool of choice is Zoomerang.

Although you can just jump in and use one of the Zoomerang templates, you should think about your survey's purpose and how to structure questions. In Zoomerang, questions can take several forms, such as: Yes/No, multiple choice, matrixes, or open-ended. You can also have a comment box on each question. Zoomerang allows you to select from basic themes (they mostly differ in color). You then preview the survey to see how it looks and operates. When the editing is complete, activate and launch the survey. A Web URL is created that can be placed on a Website or embedded in an E-mail directed at targeted survey participants. You can create a contact list in Zoomerang. They sell an E-mail list service, but I don’t use it. I often create a list in Word and paste it into Zoomerang.

See an example of a Web-link survey launch HERE

The best feature of Zoomerang is the reporting. You can view results, real-time; and share the results as well. I often use it as a tool for tabulating evaluations. In most cases, we ask the questions using paper evaluations for our CME conferences. Then, the data is entered into Zoomerang, which then creates a nice Web-accessible report. It is also possible to import data from Zoomerang into Excel for further manipulation.

You can create a free online survey of up to 30 questions. Of course, the free version does not offer all the features of the paid service. Also, your results will only be available for 10 days. If you are interested in using the UTCOM/Erlanger account for conducting a survey, contact Larry Miller (423-778-3821 or

You may also consider other Web-based survey tools, such as StellarSurvey or SurveyMonkey